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Hermeus Raises Seed Funding for Hypersonic Aircraft from Khosla Ventures, Announces Advisory Board

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
May 15, 2019
Filed under ,

Hypersonic vehicle (Credit: Hemeus)

ATLANTA, GA – Hermeus Corporation, a startup increasing the speed of air transportation by developing hypersonic aircraft, today announced a Seed round investment. The round was led by Khosla Ventures, with additional participation from private investors. The financing will further the development and test of Hermeus’ hypersonic propulsion system.

“Hermeus is developing an aircraft that not only improves the aviation experience with very reduced flight times, but also has the potential to have great societal and economic impact.” said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures.

“We’ve set out on a journey to revolutionize the global transportation infrastructure, bringing it from the equivalent of dial-up into the broadband era, by radically increasing the speed of travel over long distances.” said co-founder and CEO AJ Piplica. “We’re excited to work with Khosla Ventures to turn this vision into reality.”

The Hermeus founders consist of alumni from SpaceX and Blue Origin.  Additionally, all four worked together at Generation Orbit, where AJ Piplica served as CEO and Glenn Case, Mike Smayda, and Skyler Shuford served as technical directors.  While there, they led the development of the X-60A, a hypersonic rocket-plane and the Air Force’s newest X-Plane.

Hermeus has also proudly announced a Board of Advisors, consisting of highly experienced professionals spanning high-technology aerospace, private and commercial aviation, and regulatory arenas.  Collectively, these advisors help define the Hermeus strategy with respect to safety, markets, technology, and development in order to accelerate innovation in aviation and connect the globe. Board members include:

  • Rob Meyerson – Former President, Blue Origin
  • Rob Weiss – Former EVP/GM Lockheed Martin Skunk Works
  • Keith Masback – Former CEO, US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation; Director, Source Operations, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency; Director, ISR Integration, US Army.
  • Katerina Barilov – Founder, Sparkplug capital+ and Managing Director, Shearwater Aero Capital
  • Dr. George Nield – Former Associate Administrator, FAA
  • Mitch Free – Founder and CEO, ZYCI and Former Director of Technical Operations, Northwest Airlines

Rob Meyerson had this to say, “With experience from the best of NewSpace companies, the Hermeus team is well positioned to disrupt the hypersonics industry.”

“I think we have a first-class team – Hermeus and advisors,” said Rob Weiss. “It seems to me if there’s a team that can achieve this big goal, it’s Hermeus.”

Hermeus, an aerospace technology company founded in 2018, is developing aircraft capable of flight in excess of Mach 5 – over 3,000 miles per hour. At Mach 5, flight times from New York to London will be reduced from 7 hours to 90 minutes. The vision of the company is to connect the world’s cities significantly faster than ever before.

One response to “Hermeus Raises Seed Funding for Hypersonic Aircraft from Khosla Ventures, Announces Advisory Board”

  1. duheagle says:

    Excellent news. Large civil aircraft have been in stagnation mode for half a century and the industrial base for same has dwindled to a duopoly of Boeing and Airbus. The same is largely true of military airframes. When Hermeus gets its airliner flying, I hope the company broadens its ambit to include military aircraft as well.

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